Kelley Blue Book’s Top 10 Coolest Cars Under $20,000

2018 VW Golf Kelley Blue Books Top 10 Coolest Cars Under $20,000

Did you know the average price of a new car these days is more than $35,000? That said, if that’s not in your budget you still have plenty of options.

10 Coolest New Cars Under $20,000

Take Kelley Blue Book’s latest list of “10 Coolest New Cars Under $20,000″. These are more affordable cars KBB editors say don’t sacrifice on style or comfort.  As the list name insinuates, they have to be “cool”, meaning be fun to drive and own.

It’s no big surprise that the Mazda3 takes the No. 1 spot this year. It’s been named a Kelley Blue Book Coolest Car every year of the vehicle’s 15-year existence.

“Even at a lower price point, the 10 Coolest New Cars Under $20,000 are loaded with tech and safety features and offered in sharp and versatile packages,” said Michael Harley, executive editor for Kelley Blue Book. “Both good-looking and exciting to drive, these top picks are worth closer consideration by today’s budget-minded shopper.”

You can buy each of the following vehicles starting at $20,000 or less, using Kelley Blue Book’s exclusive Fair Purchase Price as the yardstick. (Note, adding options or going with higher trims can quickly take you north of $20K.) Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price and Fair Market Range are part of‘s Price Advisor tool. It shows what consumers can reasonably expect to pay this week in their area for a new vehicle when purchasing from a dealer. Factors such as current market conditions, vehicle availability, local demand, and seasonal buying trends all help determine a vehicle’s Fair Market Range and Fair Purchase Price.

Here is the 2018 list and the editor’s comment on each:

1. Mazda 3 


Credit: Mazda

KBB: Available in both sedan and hatchback form, the Mazda3 offers practicality that appeals to compact car buyers, with sportiness that makes even daily chores more fun.

CAR PRO: A surprisingly engaged ride wrapped up in an unexpectedly sporty package with an attractive price tag. (Check out our 2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring review here.)

2. Honda Civic

honda civic

Credit: Honda

KBB: KBB’s Small Car Best Buy of 2018, the Civic is a well-rounded car offered as a sedan or coupe that’s comfortable, roomy, practical, efficient, packed with cool tech, and a blast to drive.

CAR PRO: Check out our 2017 Honda Civic Touring review here.

3. Hyundai Kona 

2018 Hyundai Kona

Credit: Hyundai

KBB: The Kona was given a healthy dose of modern style, and the clean, crisp cabin is filled with a bevy of connectivity and advanced safety features.

4. Volkswagen Golf  

2018 VW Golf

Credit: VW

KBB: Euro-tuned handling and a sporty attitude are only part of what makes the Golf such an appealing car.

CAR PRO: A hot hatch that makes a great daily driver. Check out our 2017 Volkswagen Golf review here.

5. Kia Soul 

2017 Soul Turbo

KBB: Few vehicles match the Kia Soul’s alluring combination of bold style, SUV-like versatility, and practicality, with a roster of standard and available features that add to the Soul’s value.

CAR PRO: More fun and smiles per gallon than you would expect. Check out our 2017 Kia Soul Turbo review here.

6. Jeep Renegade 

2018 Jeep Renegade Latitude

Credit: Jeep

KBB: Of all the vehicles on this list, the Renegade is the one that can get you the furthest beyond where the pavement ends.

7. Subaru Impreza 

2018 Subaru Impreza Sport

Credit: Subaru

KBB: Already earning extra credit for its standard all-wheel drive, a recent redesign gives the Impreza sedan and hatchback sharper looks, more refinement and a larger palette of tech and convenience features, all while retaining the strong value proposition and reliability for which Subaru is known.

CAR PRO: Check out our 2017 Subaru Impreza Sport here.

8. Honda Fit 

2018 Honda Fit

Credit: Honda

KBB: This diminutive hatchback has a feature called the Magic Seat that gives the interior space and versatility that rivals that of a small SUV. The combination of practicality and pep at an affordable price makes the Fit a hard car to resist.

CAR PRO: Read out 2017 Honda Fit EX-L review here.

9. Hyundai Elantra GT

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT

Credit: Hyundai

KBB: The all-new Elantra GT hatchback expands the Elantra lineup, adding a dose of likable style and five-door versatility to the mix.

10. Chevy Sonic 

2018 Chevrolet Sonic

Credit: Chevrolet

KBB: The Sonic’s starting price of $16,170 makes it the most affordable car on this list. But what keeps Chevrolet’s subcompact sedan and hatch on our list of coolest cars is its compelling combination of tech, comfort and a fun attitude, all wrapped in redesigned sheet metal.


  1. Sharon 4 months ago

    I was listening to Saturday’s Calif program when I was in car. Please what were you referring to about Park Place (???) renting a fleet of car choices for $895……

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